Meet our Field Technicians: Uniting Passion & Purpose in Sustainability

Kirra Bixby
6 min read Sustentabilidade
Category Sustentabilidade
Date
Read time 6 minutes
Author Kirra Bixby
Meet our Field Technicians: Uniting Passion & Purpose in Sustainability

Are you intrigued by SAMBAZON's operations within the depths of the Amazon Rainforest? Maybe you’re an OG: an avid Açaí eater who cares about the triple bottom-line mission of SAMBAZON. Or you could be a newbie who just discovered a delicious new food that you find exciting given its nutritional value. Either way, you may be curious how our Açaí maintains its Certified Fair Trade and Organic status, and how we support our community of harvesters that works to protect the land that flourishes with our favorite purple berry. 

In the heart of the Amazon rainforest, these remarkable individuals emerge as champions of environmental stewardship in an emerging sustainability job market. This is the story of SAMBAZON’s dedicated field technicians – the embodiment of our ongoing efforts to practice the sustainable management of the Brazilian Amazon. This community of young, educated professionals have degrees that range from forestry to agronomy. They are an absolutely critical part of SAMBAZON’s Açaí harvest; they are the ones that are on the ground, day in and day out, training and supporting our harvesters. They are the face of SAMBAZON in the rainforest.  

Around the world, opportunities for recent graduates to go into the fields they are passionate about and utilize their education and skills can be scarce, many have wandered through career paths not aligned with their aspirations. SAMBAZON is helping change this narrative by offering those who have pursued sustainability focused degrees in Brazil specifically a purposeful real-world application of their academic learnings, and to harness their skills to better their lives and those in the Amazon community. Their hands-on approach cultivates more than just the purple berry we all know and love; it nurtures relationships, learning on both sides, and the shared endeavor of safeguarding our planet's resources. 

This blog aims to illustrate the stories behind the day-to-day dynamics of these eco-champions and their role in SAMBAZON’s vertical supply chain. Through intimate interviews and candid photographs, we invite you to step into the shoes of our field technicians: Gabriel Bueno de Souza, Edson Freitas, and Ângela Paiva. Imagine joining them beneath the emerald canopy, camera in hand, as you witness them working among the vibrant Amazon community. You might just discover more commonalities between their experience and yours than you would think, or be inspired to join the emerging, sustainable workforce.  

 field technician gabriel

Gabriel Bueno de Souza  

Gabriel Bueno de Souza was born in Macapá and has an education in Forestry Engineering. He chose to study this topic “because of [his] childhood affinity with nature,” previously working in environmental services. 

What do you do here at the company? 

Gabriel - I work as a certification assistant, making constant visits to collectors registered in the company's database who supply the fruit (açaí), thus getting to know the reality of each region visited, carrying out inspections, traceability, re-registration, acquisition of new collectors in the municipalities of Amapá and Pará.  

How did college or school help prepare you for this work and what are the biggest surprises about working in the field?  

Gabriel - College only gave me a basis for starting my work journey, I began to shape myself as a professional more effectively in the field work carried out over the years. The biggest surprise in fieldwork was coming across the very precarious reality of some regions of Pará.  

gabriel in forest

What do you like doing at work?  

Gabriel - My way of working is always very dynamic, I like being in the field and in contact with people, that way I feel more active.  

What are your thoughts on riparian communities?  

Gabriel -...I see the need for training through courses and lectures (in a variety of areas), so that they can make the best use of the natural resources present in these regions, thus giving them hope of having an opportunity to improve their lives.  

What do you want other people outside Brazil to know about Brazil?  

Gabriel - I prefer people from other countries to know about...the Amazon region, knowing the riches that our region possesses and its beauty, its importance for the planet. 

edson

Edson Mauro Freitas das Dores 

Edson Mauro Freitas das Dores is from Belém, has an education in Forestry Engineering, and worked as a carpenter before working at SAMBAZON. He found SAMBAZON from the recommendation of a former university colleague who was an employee of the company at the time. 

Why did you choose to study Forestry Engineering?  

Edson - Because I believed I could contribute my knowledge to helping families of small rural producers reach organizational levels, improve their practices, their processes and, consequently, their quality of life.  

 What do you do here at the company? 

Edson - I work as a field technician, promoting awareness, application, and inspection of socio-environmental regulations, focused on organic and social certification processes.  

edson with certifcation

How did college or school help prepare you for this job and what are the biggest surprises about working in the field?  

Edson - It helped me understand the dynamic relationship between man and nature; the surprises are the natural events that don't allow for routine and lead us to live with learning on a daily basis.  

What do you like doing at work?  

Edson - My work is divided between two environments: the office and the field. I most enjoy being out in the field exchanging knowledge with producers.  

What do you want other people outside Brazil to know about you, your work or Brazil?  

Edson - I want them to know that I am just one link in a chain that is forming in the quest to make the concepts of sustainability effective in our forests; that the work I do, although enjoyable, is as risky as it is important; that the world needs to look at Brazil from the perspective of the Amazonian, the river dweller who is the one who has the knowledge about the forests. 

angela

Ângela Garcia 

Ângela Garcia is from Laranjal do Jarí, has a degree in Forestry Engineering, and started working with SAMBAZON after she got her degree. 

What do you do here at the company? 

Ângela - I'm a certification assistant, I work directly with the collectors... who have a partnership with SAMBAZON, I make sure that the standards that the certifiers have are being followed by our field partners.  

How did college or school help prepare you for this job and what are the biggest surprises about working in the field?  

Ângela - The university helped me a lot with all the practical classes and internships I did, there I was able to have a lot of contact and experience to be able to go out and work in the field.  

 angela paddling a canoe

 What do you like about your job?  

Ângela - I like the opportunity to have greater contact with nature and the people in the communities; I believe we are constantly exchanging knowledge.  

What are your thoughts on riverside communities? 

 Ângela - The riverside communities are very beautiful and very welcoming to visitors. They are usually less accessible (and) they have the best opportunity to take care of their small patch of forest.  

angela directing in the forest

The diligent efforts of the field technicians help SAMBAZON meet our goals and the core principles of Fair Trade certification in our vertically integrated supply chain. Their work in the Amazon Rainforest is how we support our harvesting community and maintain our Certified Fair Trade and Organic status. Our intention is to support our field technician, our factories in Brazil, and the entire community of harvesters as they work together to serve as a model of transparency and create a sustainable ecosystem that fosters a positive economic change reaction from the Amazon to the world.

What did you think of your journey through the words and images that exemplify the experiences of SAMBAZON’s field technicians in the Amazon Rainforest? Share with us in the comments below what you thought was the most interesting learning from their shared stories. 

Kirra Bixby

Kirra Bixby é Gerente de Marketing Omni-Channel da SAMBAZON e trabalha no mundo do marketing digital e mídia social há 5 anos. A especialização em Estudos de Comunicação e Mídia com foco em Jornalismo na Universidade de San Diego proporcionou a ela uma vasta experiência em redação para várias plataformas e publicações diferentes. Kirra é uma amante do ar livre, aventura e tudo relacionado ao Açaí, e gosta de compartilhar sua perspectiva através da mídia digital.

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